Corn is a staple food in Venezuela, and the country has traditionally been self-sufficient. But this year the government was forced to import 350,000 tons of corn from Mexico. Farmers say the country imports more than two-thirds of the food it consumes.
-from the Miami Herald this morning.
The Herald article reports that part of the problem is that the fertilizer supply, needed to grow the corn, is being diverted to cocoa fields, from which cocaine is produced.
One day someone will write the definitive economic/social/political history of Venezuela over the last 50 years, and trace what happened to that beautiful country. What an object lesson that will be - not only in showing what happens in a socialist economy, but what led to the overthrow of the more or less (mostly less) capitalist society that preceded it. One of my clients, a US expatriate who lived in Venezuela during the pre-Chavez 70s and 80s, attributes much of the problem to the petroleum riches in that country, where the selfish, ruling elites before Chavez believed that, essentially, such wealth gave them a blank check. Now the demagogue Chavez, crazy like a fox, also worships at the altar of oil. He will be similarly unsuccessful at great cost to his country.